Crank Caverns.

The small village of Crank close to Rainford in Merseyside is not the sort of place where you would expect to encounter a vast underground man made cave system, however this little known strange place does exist and many legends are attached to this disturbing place.

Being an outsider to the area it was difficult to locate the caves, and as the tourist information centre in St Helens seems to have gone ex directory I nearly gave up the quest, if it wasn’t for Pete Morris from Enviromental Protection who kindly e-mailed me directions to the caves I probably wouldn’t have found them. I used my sat nav which took me to Chapel View road in Crank (WA117SJ) where I parked my car, I then walked back up the hill for about 50 yards to a 90 degree bend in the road, on this bend there is a dirt track that leads across the fields for about a quarter of a mile, eventually you will come to two trees where you follow the track to the left and it will lead you to a wood where the caves are located.

The photograph on the right shows the track which I followed from Crank and leads to the wood where the Crank Caverns can be found.

Rather than enter the wood through the drive way which seems to lead to a private house I followed the path which skirted to the right of the wood and which led to an opening and a path which took me down into the small wood, strange undulations can be found here which I presume came about from the mining which took place here back in 1730 and was known as Rainford Delph Quarry.

As the wood is quite small it didn’t take me long to come across the entrance to the caves, the caves came into existence because rather than quarry the stone it was decided to mine it instead which created the many tunnels and shafts that can be found here. Mining ceased back in 1865 and since then the area has been used as a game reserve and also an ammuntion storage facility during the Second World War.

As the caves are prone to collapse in certain sections I decided not to enter the caves to any great extent, I took a series of photographs close to the entrance of the caverns and I think it would be unwise to enter them on your own and without the relevant equipment.

There are many legends attached to these caves so I will do my best to reproduce them here the first one concerns an account of children who went missing here back in the 18th century and is as follows:  Four children decided to explore the sandstone caverns in the area and vanished. One child survived and told a terrifying tale about small old men with beards who killed his three friends and chased him. The petrified child stumbled over human bones in the caves and finally managed to scramble through an opening to the surface as a hand was grabbing at his ankle. The authorities were concerned because a number of people had gone missing in the area near the cave entrances. Two heavily armed soldiers descended into the caverns with torches and claimed that they not only found a heap of human bones, they also found the ruins of an ancient church of some unknown denomination. The interior of the church was lit by three large candles and grotesque gargoyles formed part of an altar. Throughout the exploration of the underground, the soldiers said they felt as if they were being watched, and also heard voices speaking in an unknown language. One report said that a child’s head was found in a cave, along with evidence of cannibalism. After a second investigation, the caves either collapsed or gunpowder was used to seal them, and so the riddle of the underground church of Crank Caverns remains unsolved.

I came across other accounts from people who have a knowledge of the cave system, some claim that as well as being man made there are parts of it which are natural, some claim that parts of the extensive system remain unexplored, the following are accounts which I have reproduced here:The caverns are reputed to be haunted, though to date no extensive paranormal investigation has been carried out. In 1997, the Canadian documentary show “Ghost Hunters – Bust ‘Em Up!” taped an episode titled “Jones’n for Jellies”. The show presented what appeared to be sporadic images of ghosts purported to be that of deceased weatherman Jon Andrew who was said to have fallen into one of the crevasses after a bout with local legend “The Trollcombe” in 1943.

The following comments were taken off a forum and relate to the caves:

he claimed that some scouts went down the caverns
for a look around and at the end of the day one of the scouts had not come back
out………and we was taking all of this in and waited with bated breath for
more of the what he was telling us…anyway he told us that they had to
call out the cave rescue people to try and find the boy…..after a long search
they found him or what was left of him(this guy was starting to scare us a
little as we had just come out of the caves ourselves )he said that the boy was
partly eaten and that the parents of the child wanted it all kept secret so that
they could give him a peaceful burial and that they did not want the papers to
get hold of it..he looked at the time that he meant it….good
stuff…… i used to go there in the seventies with my brother and friends it
was always cold down there as i can remember, i also heard another tale about
tunnels which funny enough fits in with the stone coming from crank to build
holy cross! and the tale is that convicted prisoners who were to be hung went
through a tunnel under the town hall! up too crank caverns too the big three
trees on the public footpath…i think it is the middle tree were they
was hung and on the lower branch you can see where the rope was tied, it also
has the names of people hung there! truth or myth print the myth!I
have photos of 3 of the maps which are not totally clear but you can just about
make them out, and also photos of each of the marked entrances on the maps + the
ones leading to the lake, mirror cavern and church.this is the “guy with
the maps”. its about time i came clean, all maps i have led on to the
underground church, lake, mirror cavern, twister tunnel and so on. i have seen
all of these places with my own eyes after being guided when i was about 8, i’m
22 now. the church looks now like nothing more than a crumbling pile of stone,
the tunnels and paths leading to it are pretty dangerous though. all of the
tunnels leading to these places are very easily accessible but are covered by
rocks and metal sheets. if you know what you are looking for then you will not
have a problem. only very few people have been this far in lately and my self
and the guide created a system so only the right people can find out. of course
i dont expect anyone to believe this, but it seems that there are some genuinely
interested people. ask yourself one question, if a cave is so dangerous, would
you make a one time effort and block the entrances or spend countless time and
effort, not to mention money, by constantly repairing and replacing gates etc.
if you want to know who i am, you can find me down at crank/haysarm caverns very
often, just get talking to the right person and i’ll be more than happy to copy
out the tunnel maps, but only for the right people.
 Has anyone ever seen the wandering monk in the cavern next to the mousey
?I saw this when I was about 15, myself and a friend Norman were digging
out what we thought was the entrance at the back of this cavern when we saw (and
felt) a figure move past us. This is said to be the ghost of Sir Edmond
Arrowsmith, who’s Hand is still kept in a church around the Wigan area and said
to have healing powers. Why this ghost would be haunting the Caverns though i
don’t know.I have spoken to people who know of this but none who have
actually seen .The Caverns are said to have tunnels leading to them from some of the buildings in
the Village, one use was for the Catholic priests to escape from the
Parliamentarians/Cromwell’s soliders.At this time Catholic priests were
being killed and were banned from saying mass, so they had to practice mass in
private at places such as Birchley Hall, tunnels from the hall are said to lead
to the Caverns.I did manage to partly clear the blockage around the tunnel which apparently
leads to the “Church Cavern”, but it appears there may still be another fairly
large entrance way to this point from somewhere other than the caverns. Once I
got around 30ft past the blockage, there was a large Iron gate which appears to
have been ripped off the cavern wall in this area. This gate is too heavy for
the average person to lift, without even thinking about how they got it down
there. This area is fairly new to me as i’ve only seen it on the map before, so
I went maybe another 30ft past the gate then turned back. The Church is
apparently around another 50-100 feet in from here and the original map states
that ropes are needed to get any further, so after considering my brothers
suggestion to “jump” for 2 seconds i decided against it.I am planning,
one day soon when the weather clears up, to take virtually every piece of
equipment I could possibly need down there and not come out until there is no
where I’ve not seen.After recently trying to access all of the lower
tunnels further inside the mousey I have some interesting information. I only
went down there again because curiosity got the better of me and I decided to
try to un-block the tunnel which leads to the church (somewhere I hadn’t been
before). After spending about half an hour moving rocks down there, I sat off
for a rest near a large formation of rocks and slabs and noticed a large
overhang and a ledge leading to a drop down into another chamber (near enough
perfectly square room). I managed to get through there fairly quickly and
noticed that the room was near enough filled with what looked like broken wooden
storage boxes and pieces of old metal. I would estimate that the room is about a
mile or so in. What I find really strange is there is no mention of it at all on
the maps that I have. When I went down there, I only took equipment for
un-blocking and lighting, I am now going to be spending most of my time down
there exploring every inch of that place, WITH A CAMERA. This is too exciting
not to.First of all, the distance is shown on the maps which I have.
Also for a long time, I have studied the shape of the land in the surrounding
area, the caverns have 5 levels in total which obviously means the tunnel system
will remain underground when you come to a valley etc. I looked at the remaining
system and matched it up to the land above and measured outside using local
maps.
It sounds like this would not be very accurate, however there are
“landmark” like points in the tunnels and they are not all little passages which
need to be crawled through, most can be accessed by walking. Also the amount of
time it took me (just walking) was around 7 hours to reach the furthest point
that I can get to.Even just the first 200-300 metres in the tunnels can
be easily located by looking at collapses down there and comparing them to large
(but sudden) dips in the field.The main caverns are fairly new compared
to the main tunnel system which starts at the mousey, Level 1 was for
mining-nothing else, although one passage which streches to the 12 yarder does
connect with the original level 2 main system. Level 2 was there first, this was
a large network of tunnels leading to many known places in the St Helens area
including the Stork Hotel Billinge, Lowe House Church, Carrmill area, St Aidens
Church Billinge etc. The tunnels also run under a lot of the Pubs in the
Billinge area, not all of them have entrances, but i believe the tunnel network
under the Billinge arms (George and Dragon) may hide a dark secret, although
this is just my opinion.
The Stork Inn in the village of Billinge located 2-3 miles from the cave entrance and where one of the tunnels is said to have connected with the cellar some time in the past.There is a story that the Church was once above ground, but due to part of the
Cavern’s tunnels collapsing, the Church sunk into the ground and fell inside the
Caverns.Also some of them agree that the Caverns are just man made. But
they may be a natural formation in parts, or connect to older tunnels from the
many coal mines around the area.I used to go there a lot when I was
younger. Down the mousey hole, you had to crawl on your belly for 5 mins to get
in there. But could then stand up it leads you around in a circle.And
there’s tunnels branching off now blocked, but one lad (cavemaster) claims
there’s corrugated iron and rubble (which I have seen but because of the rumble
feared it may collapse) he says you can dig a little through the rubble and it
leads onto other chambers/Caverns etc.the lad on the forum cavemaster
(Mark) says he has all the old maps of the Caverns.I remember the first time I visited Crank Caverns. At that time you could still
access the underground passages and what a strange place. I got kind of lost in
there as some of the original tunnels were blocked and I did three laps of a
circular tunnel.By the time I found my way out, two of the three torches
that we had taken had gone out. If the third had gone out I would have died. The
exit is above head hight and very easy to miss when walking around even with
light and no natural light makes it in there.I remember it more because
of the bollocking I got from my parents when I got home covered from head to toe
in the clay like soil. Just why there would be soil like that in there is in
itself unusual as everything else is just slate and there is no clay in the soil
in the surrounding areas, just good quality farmland.I have been back
there recently and now all underground passages are closed off. This is for
public safety, but I think they should be reopened and explored
extensively.

The surrounding area to the opening looks man made and not
very natural at all. There would need to be flowing water to create such a
feature and there is none in the area.

I know that the locals around
Crank do call the police if they see people going to the site. The looks you
get from them seem to be one of astonishment.

Interesting history about
the place though, most of which I didn’t know .

The stone coffin is in St. Aidens church yard, and local legend has it that a
man was up Billinge Hill when he was attacked by something that was half bat,
half snake. Whatever it was it obviously killed him.

The caverns
themselves have more tales than they do visitors. Some people say they are left
over from a mine that was down there, some people say there is a church in
there. There was even an article on the BBC website in 2002 about the kids that
got murdered down there and how they got chased by small people that spoke in an
unknown tongue.

After the kids got killed the army went into the caverns
and some gates and bars were put into place. Whether they were to keep curious
people out or something from down there ‘in’ is another matter.

If you
look near to Crank you have a place called Billinge. Billinge had one of the
only free catholic printing presses in England when the government was out to
kill all the catholics. I have been told that there are tunnels that run from
St. Marys church grave yard at the bottom of Billinge to the caverns, accessed
by an empty stone coffin in the grave yard. There is also supposed to be a
tunnel from Sue Ryder nursing home as there is still a priest hole there to this
day.

I’ve been reading this thread with great interest as I am one of the new owners
of The Stork Inn. It’s correct that we do have access to the tunnel system from
the underground cellar. At the time of writing I have not yet had chance to
explore the tunnels as we have only occupied the building for weeks. If anybody
would like to ask any questions about the place feel free to drop me a line, or
if you’re local pop-in and i’ll take you into the depths!

Underneath Billinge there is an underground stream. 4 houses in a
certain road all got big extensions built on them, for free, in the early 80s as
they had sunk due to this stream. I think the water runs all the way to the
caverns and that the 12 yarder (fishing pond) as it’s know locally is an
overflow for this.

I have spoken to people that have lived in Billinge
for a long time and cannot find any maps of the caverns at all. There are
rumours that they exist but mostly I think it is just people trolling forums.

I once went deep into the caves with a friend and a member of the council (or so he said, He did have the key to the gate).

We did a little trip around the centre caves (the one’s available for access to all the public),  If you go into these caverns on the left and go about 4 steps deep, turn 90 degrees so you are looking straight across the rockface, and you will notice you have a clear view in between all the rocks to the far wall,  on the back wall where this strange circle made by rocks appears you can see the face of a witch. (sorry for the bad explanation).

Away from the main cave now and down to the left of them, you enter a large ditch outside with a big cave entrance on your right and a little entrance in front of you, the entrance in front is the one that is locked with the gate. The one to the right can be accessed but doesn’t go too deep. I have heard that the cave on the right people have report seeing images of Monks wandering this cave, I cannot back this up as i didn’t see this unfortunately.

The cave with the locked gate has two stories i know off about it, I’ll tell you more about them in a bit, now i’ll tell you about my experience in there.  We met up with the council guy on the arranged time (We got to know him after seeing him there the week before just as he was leaving, and he agreed to show us deep into the cave).  He unlocked the gate and in we went, after about 2 minutes of walking through we came to what i thought was a dead end, but the guy pointed with his torch to a very tight hole at the side which lead deeper.  After squeezing through we entered a large chamber,  we carried on down some more passages and ended up at what i would call a alter.  It was a long square room and at one end was the stone altar built into the cave. I can’t remember much more after this, but we were in there for a good 3-4hours.  On the way back out we entered the chamber again, the guy told us to lead the way and to our terror we couldn’t find the exit. He let us look around the room for about 5 minutes before he laughed and got down on his hands and knees and pointed to the exit which was hidden by a overhang. If he hadn’t have pointed it out we would have never found it. I don’t remember this mans name.

Once outside the man told us about the history of the caverns,  Firstly he told us that they we used by monks in the church in billange as an escape route. The church can be seen from just outside the caverns. I don’t know the name of the church, I’ll do some research and get back to you.

Secondly he told us about a story that happened not so long ago (Will be about 12-13 years ago now if my memory is right). He told us two young lads entered the caverns and got lost, they had told there parents where they were going and when they didn’t arrive home there parents informed the police. After a couple of days searching the police sealed off the area and removed to body bags from the caverns.  This is were it get strange, they were also reported to have remove 7 more body bags from the caverns,  one of the bags was said to have not been in a body shape but was square. Again I have no evidence to back this up but I’ll research it and get back to you again.

Reading these posts about crank caverns stirs a few memories.
I think it was summer 74 school hols ,there was a gang of us
lads and girls we would go up too crank ,rainford etc and like kids do
just explore the surrounding area.Well this particular day we were
going to explore the caverns ,so equipped with matches and paper
we entered what i think was called the mouse tunnel ,this entrance
was to the left of the main larger cave.
We had been down there for ten mins when we ran out of matches
and we were completely lost ,i remember it was a scorching hot day
so we only had t shirts on but it was -5 down there we were ambling
around for ages crawling through tunnels , stumbling around in circles
it was freezing,i remember my mate saying we had to keep warm
so we did exercises too keep us warm.
i reckoned we had been down there for about ten hours we were tired
and covered in cuts and bruises,we saw a light in the distance it was the
cave and mountain rescue team .
When we got outside there was police cars ambulances,the doctor who
checked us over told us we were lucky to be alive .
to top it all off it was reported in the papers and on granada reports
got a good walloping off the old man for my silly adventure.
I was told by one of the c+r team that these caves extend all the way too
billinge .last time i went up too the caves the mouse entrance had been
blocked off with metal bars.

Hi Arch..Dont want to p!$$ on the thread and spoil all the doubters ,but when i was a kid there were two open caves that ran for over 3 miles. One  “The mousies hole” came to an abrupt end and often flooded due to a stream running across it about a mile in…which at times you really needed to belly crawl to get through…The other was the “blue lagoon” which was a underground lake about 50 meters across which also was around 3 miles in..I believe the stream in the other cave ran off from this lake…I used to frequent both of those caves as a kid and was an excellent caver and took kids in there “for a price” usually a couple of woodbines…Both those caves were early sandstone slate mines and were this was closed off in 1968 due to an accident with young kids getting lost down there…The farmer at the side of the caverns will verify my story as we often dropped in his place to dry off and have a few home brews with him…I think his name was Derek something or other.

Crank Caverns were built as a quarry by a man known as Yorkshire charlie. They figured the best and cheapest way to get good stone was to mine it from its seams and follow a good seam and excavate it all, thus explaining the jagged shapes of some of the caves. It is notable that the caves are supported by pillars which shows more of their man made origins. The artesian well that is being mentioned is actually a deep shaft that drops several feet down (some say about 20 however its actually only about 9 so its not really deep) this drops to a bed of gravel in a slight ditch that floods in winter time. over this well is a large bar where ropes would be hung. beyond this is a winding tunnel that follows a seam into more caverns. The main entrance to these caves now is via a billing farm where a narrow system of steps take you down into the tunnel system. Crank Caverns underground lake is said to exist but the mine tunnels do not go near it. It is said there are acres of tunnels under moss bank as similar mining procedures were undertaken here. The entrance to these can be found in clinkham wood.

me and my friends recently filmed a mini documentary on the caverns and their suspected ghosts etc, we had some unexplainable stuff. we checked the caves thoroughly to make sure nobody suspicious was there and apart from a man walking his dog nobody came near, how then do we explain knockings that knocked when we asked, footsteps and evp (electronic voice phenomenon)that answer our posed questions. In my opinion the caverns are now haunted, perhaps some is residual energy but satanic symbols are known to attract unkind spirits.

hey guys,twas my good friend mark who swam in the lake.he has maps of the caves there is 7 levels.that he has so far he made the maps himself.he has been going down ther for years, he is 20 now.the passage seddon is talkin bout in the main cave is a dead end.the only one that goes somewhere interesting is the gated entrance which me an mark an his brother recently excavated an now there is a hole going under the gate that anyone could squeeze through without much bother.i will try an get a copy of his maps an post them up.he told me a few weeks ago bout another interesting room called the mirror chamber,where 4 some reason the walls are reflective an it is impossible to find your way out unless u use string to mark your trail.any way gotta go.

Hello all!
Have read this forum with great interest, I have known about the caverns for many years as I live in Rainford, but only in the past couple of years visited them and have seen that the gate and mouse hole have been dug out recently – nice one!!

One of my mates, hes about 28 now has been into all of them and spent hours over several years in there – he states “they go a long long way!!!, further than most will risk going”,

Another mate of mine has cousin that lives locally on one of the farms, theyve both been down recently! Ill get more info off them, Im trying to persuade them to take me down as I used to do pot holing in yorkshire and have been into several of the gwidir lead mines in wales – theyre massive you could walk miles in there! – Ive even got survey maps of these!

I know that locals petitioned to close off all the entrances, in fact it was looked into if they could be dynamited but apparently they wouldnt risk the adjacent field disappearing!!! Thais how much open space there is down there!

Always up for a trip in – got some good lamps!!

Regards the underground church – he says “there was a cave we all used to call the cathedral cave due to its size, this got blocked by a rock fall during the time he was exploring them! Who knows? Since going again recently he says the opening is still not there!

He’s also said “the mouse hole had a few entrances, however there are several different passages that don’t adjoin to each other, like the cathedral cave, there’s no other way now of getting in their.”

Seems to know them well!
Will find out more, Ill be going down soon if anyone else is let me know if you don’t mind me joining U!

Did you know there’s an underground lake under whiston hospital that stretches towards prescot?

How do I know – Well I work for what used to be BICC cables, the site was massive back then (tesco stands there now) and there were two water pumps that pumped water from this lake through bore holes for cooling around the site – what is interesting is that fish were regularly found in the filters that had no eyes and were plain white in colour!! You can get down to it, am trying to find out how!

its mark i’m back.  still have all maps for caves and intend to reopen them all again. i have swam in the lake, the mirrored walls are nothing more than a series of tunnels about two miles in which look exactly the same as each other ( but easy to get lost). Have been going down since i was 8 and i know the caves and tunnel systems like the back of my hand.

The photograph below is thought to be from Victorian times and is said to depict the church which is said to exist somewhere in the cave system.

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80 Responses to “Crank Caverns.”

  1. 3/3/12 remember going theses caverns when i was young with st helens rangers on a guided tour, now 31 and been reading all about them would love to get down there and explore, has anyone been down recently are they still blocked, and has anyone taken the owner of the stork pub up on his offer of showing you in to the tunels through the cellar. would love to find out more about these.

    • Hi Andrew, Thanks for the comments, unfortunately I don’t have any more info about the caverns. I have contacted the landlord of the Stork pub but he was of the opinion that there wasn’t any access to them through his cellar.
      Regards Gary

  2. Hi Andrew and Blakemere, myself and a mate went down the double gated mousey entrance a few days ago but only got the the 2nd level down as we had no string and limited candles/torches. I posted our experience and a few photos I took onto the st helens connect forum (page 40) for those interested.

    http://www.sthelens-connect.net/forums/topic/8585-crank-caverns-where-do-they-go/page__st__585

    We plan to go back down soon to explore further in and hopefully find an entrance to the lower levels.

    If anyone is interested in coming then let me know on here or on the connect forum.

    Thanks!

    • Hi, Thanks for the interesting comments and the link. Hope you manage to explore deeper into the caverns. Please let me know how you get on. Stay safe.
      Regards Gary

      • You have got me really interested in this know after only reading about it. I would like to go down there with people who know what they are doing. But does my age matter of 16 ?. Hope we could set this up one day, would like to help out as a experienced climber my self.

      • Hi Rob,
        I’m glad that you enjoyed reading the article. I would suggest that you try to make contact with someone who has knowledge of the caverns through one of the forums. The caves are so extensive that it would be dangerous to venture in alone without the proper equipment. There are people who claim to have maps of the caverns who have also blogged on the forums so I would try to make contact with them. Hope this helps.
        Regards Gary

  3. i would love to see more pictures , especially ones frojm deeper down . i’ve walked up there in the past but with my young son and i didn’t venture in. would really like more info on the place.

  4. Hi I’m Phil from billinge I’ve been going in the caverns for a long time n I recently took my little lad there the stork is my local and I’ve been in the tunnels in the cellar and unfortunately these are now bricked up but the land lords son is going the caverns this year to explore and to see if he can open the tunnels in the stork

  5. Hi Phil from Billinge . We met when i was staying at the Stork last year . I think i owe you an Aussie rules football . I visited Crank caverns and being a safety conscience coward ,i got as far as the entrance cave . Tell Ian he’s better off trying to find the tunnel openings from the cellar end rather than travelling all that way underground from Crank . PS myth has it his Dad and Malcolm have a secret dart room down there !!!!

  6. Do you not think the underground reservoir on the field leading to the caverns has something to do with the “underground lake”?

    • Hi Fish,
      Unfortunately I don’t have enough information to comment on this question, anything I would have to say would be purely speculation. For this reason I suggest you seek out one of the local people via one of the forums and they maybe able to provide you with an answer.
      Regards Gary

      • It’s good reading all the stories about crank caverns. Me and a friend were in them in the summer and it appears there are only two floors in crank that can be accessed but it would does appear tunnels have collapsed over time. Has any maps or documents turned up? Any updates on crank and any hidden tunnels/underground lakes in the surrounding area? Look forward to a reply guys and ladies

  7. Hi everyone, I have enjoyed reading about the caverns and it’s history. Are there any maps available of the tunnels. I have heard many tales about these tunnels and where they may lead to. Does anyone have any evidence that these tunnels to run under Billinge and towards UpHolland.

  8. All very interesting – I think the reports and ‘memories’ need to be recorded for posterity; it would make a very good book. I was told once about the Roman Centurions seen walking into the hillside and disappearing near what is now the golf course. And I’ve heard about the underground lake beneath Whiston Hospital leading toward Prescot . . . and the tunnels, and the priest holes, and the riderless horse and . . . who knew we lived in such a diversely interesting area!?!

  9. Hi All,

    I dont want to be a pesamist, and I have really enjoyed reading the stories of the caves, but I am 32 years old and used to go down the caves when I was 10-13ish, 1990 – 1993 we used to nick a canvass from delivery wagons at peasly cross, and go down to crank caverns and sleep in there (the mouse tunnel) all week end sniffing glue and drinking, and so far the only true description is the one who said you crawl on your belly for 5 minutes, drop down, and then it goes round in a circle, that is exactly how I remember it. Am i missing something, It was my uncle who shown me the caves and he used to do the same in the 70s.And none of us recall all the mysterious tunnels that go on for miles. I know I sound like a complete idiot with the glue sniffing and drinking story, but that is how it was back then for me (no parental guidance)So do theses tunnels exist or they stories?????

  10. Am guessing the lower levels of crank caverns may have been sealed when mining ceased in 1865. But if they did block the access points to lower levels, the tunnels themselves may still be there. In a photo I seen abit back, it just looked like it had blocked by hand, which means it probably with some hardwork could be unblocked by hand.

  11. intresting this place been a few times now

  12. hi my name is Paul and I very often take my 2 young children to crank caverns there is another track at the side of a farm that will also take you to them but unfortunately the last time we went the cavern down the steep slope was inaccessible due to flytipping and I also have never seen the long tunnels,if there are any I can only assume they are where an entrance has been blocked my a metal gate/grille

  13. Hi,
    Very interesting article enjoyed the read, don’t know if anyone has noticed but on the third photo posted check in the right hand corner of the cave and zoom in…. pretty spooky

  14. Took my son & his mate here in Autumn, to explore & have a picnic, both the kids would not go near the caves, when I went to go in, my son went into hysterics, thought something was going to get me. The atmosphere on the day was very oppressive, we did not stay too long as the boys were genuinely frightened & must admit, did not feel comfortable myself
    Would anyone be interested in doing an investigation here & has night vision cameras etc If so, get in touch,

  15. I have been in this cavern a number of times now over the last 2 years, let me tell you it doesent lead to anywhere no more, I’ve checked everywhere. The tunnels have obv been sealed along time ago due to safety, I’m really surprised that no one has tried to unseal them, because I’d be up for it if it’s possible, also has anyone been to crisp delph mine? I went there last year and that is really something else, makes the crank look like a rat hole, it’s only about 6 mile from crank maybe less. But I would really like to open them tunnels of crank as the history of that cavern is very exciting. Or am I just a big kid haha if any of you have any info on the place please email me sudmister@hotmail.co.uk

    • Visited the caverns yesterday. Found a small entrance to the centre and rear of the main entrance area. Crawling on my belly for about five mins then headed back as I didnt feel comfortable taking my 10yr old son any further without knowing first what were heading into. Going back again with a friend and plenty glow sticks and rope.

  16. I would be concerned about the heavy rainfall we’ve had recently. Take care and tell us what you find.

    • Your right Claire the rainfall was pretty bad on our first explore, dripping through cracks in the stone above and running down walls. The weather was much more pleasant on our return, this time I was showing a family member around, after an hour or so examining the main caverns on show and comparing them to some hand drawn maps I found online we concluded there were no means of access to the deeper sections without moving considerable ammounts of rubble or squeezing through some very tight and unstable crevices. So we moved onto the gated entrance to the far left of the main gallery, the two small gates were wide open so in we went crawling for maybe 15 to 20 metres before we were able to stand in a small chamber a few metres in each direction, to the far end is a small hole which drops into another chamber with multiple blocked or partially blocked routes, this area goes round in rather large circle bringing you back to the hole in the overhanging ceiling above, easily missed but for us leaving a glow stick to mark our route down. I work with guys who claim there are deeper areas and closed entrances both inside and outside the mines. They are quite dangerous in places and should be treated with respect. It was nice to see they had been tidied up a little and to see other families , bikers and hikers enjoying them too as under and above ground they are a mysteriously fantastic place.

  17. thanks for this. i too live close in st helens and iam deeply interested in
    hollow earth

  18. I have recently been through the crawl space and snapped crystal clear pics of orbs with faces within them I also have photos of what looks like a friar took type monk all genuine no tricks or computer 💻 editing

  19. Some of my pictures I’ve put up on ghost hunters international check them out see what you think orbs mist the whole nine yards fascinating place the wife and kids felt scared my dog 🐶 went ape he wasn’t a bit happy went back the following weekend with mates the pics I caught are unbelievable faces in orbs really unhappy lost souls disturbing really would love to see anybody’s snaps

  20. How do I post my pics on here

  21. I’ve been in today great place but not scary when you put your sensible head on went as far as you can past the tire that can be seen on the go pro youtube video fascinating place got to the end of that corridor and seen the thin slip hole to the next levels gona do this real soon shame about all the graffiti and litter candles bottles etc there’s two alter like rooms wanted to go further but had dog 🐶 walking 🚶 duties you cant get lost there seriously as long as you remember landmarks its easy I used cheap H&B glow sticks 25 for a pound and collected them on my return enjoy fellow cavers’

    • Hi mate you the scouser I was talking to down there, was 5 us lads went, still been going down there every Sunday to look round and search for new entrances, the double gated area I think is a defo no go but in the main caves right at the back looks pretty promising, few of us are going down next week doing some digging

  22. […] There is also this detailed link about the place: https://ludchurchmyblog.wordpress.com/places-further-afield/crank-caverns/ […]

  23. Hi, I have been aware of this information for many years and have a lot more that I could add. The church referred to you don’t know the name of is St.Marys. There are three tunnel entrances inside the church also. For now I will keep the locations secret. Not sure if appropriate to add all I know on the web

  24. Not sure if my last message got through. The first tunnel entrance is located via a trap door in the main entrance porch under a straw mat. The second entrance under a large figure of Jesus to the right of the main altar. These lead to the caverns used by priests to safeguard themselves and their valuables. Can’t place the location of the third as this leads to something much different. To give you a lead look up old literature Hey Some/ Heysome

  25. Very good info indeed, do you know of any more entrances near the caverns, any info would be great

  26. There is another entrance leading from the mound near the three trees. I think the water authority utilise some of this space. One of these entrances is quite new at the start and was here that world war 1 stores were kept. How did you go on with the lead that I gave you. The third entrance in the church leads to a tomb. Your research may indicate more information for you from the lead I gave you

  27. Could you give me anymore info please as to were the mound is and also the entrace please I’ve searched high and low and the best entrace I’ve found is the gated entrace which that now doesn’t lead anywhere any info would be great

  28. The mound entrance is on top of the mound near the three trees/hanging trees. The entrance looks like part of the property of the water board steel and padlocked however when open reviews a much earlier state arched brick tunnel there is also a tunnel that runs from the dungeons at Heysome house. I know quite a lot more but too much to text hope this helps

    • Not sure if you was aware that the tunnel from Heysome house leads to deep shafts in the caverns from which it is said that people were taken sacrificed and thrown down the shafts

      • Tunnel at heysham house didn’t know there was a tunnel were is the entrance? Come on this is just teasing me now haha

  29. Do you know where Heysome house is?

  30. No

  31. Its not hard to locate. Google will assist you. If you choose to follow any information that I have given you let me know how you got on. Good luck. When I get chance I will share more information.

    • Ano where heysome house is now but just don’t know where the tunnel is? My number is 07872 826001 drop me a text please

  32. The entrance leads from the basement dungeon. Il give u a call we could meet up and have a chat

  33. Hello to all, I made the go pro video on youtube and I’m very interested in exploring these tunnels… I have only just seen and read this whole article. I would be interested in another visit..lsd4cr500@hotmail.com

    • Think I’m gunna go up there on quad Sunday open that metal grid up see if someone’s telling porkeys ahahahahah

  34. Hi,

    I’ve only lived in Billinge about 3 years and just recently became aware of the caves, I’ve still not ventured down and after reading all this information I’m not so sure but if anyone would be kind enough to want to meet up and chat about the caves and their history that would be fantastic as I have to admit I’m absolutely fascinated!

    • Hi Rachael yer me to I love the place just watch out because there are lot of people with misleading info on here and down there, I’ve spent hours down there and heard a lot of bull 🙂

  35. I used to go down the mousey when I was a kid, very easy to get lost down there. I have also been down the cave in Wiseman’s wood at the side of clinkham wood, you had to slide in as it was about two feet high at the entrance which went down at an angle for twenty feet, once inside it was quite a large cave with a body of water down there.

  36. Hi. I’m Luke. We’re going there on 26 May. Hope that we will find that place. Love this kind of entertainment X

  37. Yes. How did you get on

    • Think some people get the mousey mixed up because a lot of people say it’s the gated entrance then a lot of people say it was a entrance near the top which went deeper into the mine system?

  38. Hi all, not posted on here for a while. Went exploring Crank Caverns again on the 25th August armed only with an iPhone & some not very powerful torches! The footage is from the lower gated mousey. Plan to re-visit again soon in next few weeks to get better footage using a 10 million candle power spotlight, as you can’t see your hand in front of your face down there! If anyone is interested, the footage can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BT1WhnYXKk

    • It’s a real nice place pitty you can’t get into the larger section anymore, people still think they can but there’s no proof, I think it’s well and truly sealed and it’s all fairytales. Heard of people saying they have maps on here and there gunna post them but still waiting for them.

  39. Would be great to find access to the lower levels but its doubtful. I’ve spotted a smaller opening in the main larger cave and I have been told that it goes down someway, tho personally I haven’t been down it as the entrance looks pretty dangerous and is a tight squeeze (bottled it). The opening is on the left hand side wall of the larger cave (hard to spot). Has anyone been down into this?

    • Yes I’ve been through this, but it doesn’t lead anywhere it’s full of callapses inside, some really tight squeezes and its really dangerous in there so not for the faint hearted. I think there is a way in but I think it’s via woods and digging is involved.

  40. hey steve, yea as soon as I crawled into it and looked around I thought it looked way too un-stable, a big game rock/boulder Jenga over your head! By way in, do you mean to the deeper levels? and do you mean the woods surrounding the caves???

    • Yes I reckon there could be in or around the surrounding woods, there was even people saying there was a entrance under 2 man holes just before the walk to the caves which was false may I add. You can crawl in a good 20 yard but like I said it’s very unstable, I’ve even dug to try and get through to the caves in the main one but it’s too badly blasted. I revised the area quite abit and like a said 99% of people chat crap. Just like the mines and tunnels of winter hill I’m trying to get into now, also have you been to the larger mine round the corner that’s still accessible.

  41. Hi Steve, where would you recommend having a dig for gaining access to deeper levels? I was having a look outside of the main cave to the right hand side, possibly entrances buried i thought?? Yea people chat crap on here about maps. By other mine, do you mean Delph Crisp mine? I’m not entirely sure where the entrance to this one is and I haven’t been. More info on entrance location would be great, love to have a look. Thanks Jon

  42. Mines at Winter Hill?? Really? I didn’t know that. I’ve always heard it was a Roman outpost but dunno if that’s true?? Would make sense though as an 360 vantage point of Lancashire.

  43. Tbh mate wouldn’t bother digging entrances via the mine are well and truly gone, we wasted a full week on it. As for crisp you will love it in there but trying to explain the entrance is hard as its only about 2ftx2ft and it’s well hidden but well worth a trip down, but it is in someone’s back garden so it isn’t really advised if you know what I mean 😉

  44. Yea, I think my mate knows the garden so may have a look if possible. Shame about crank and the amount of rubbish everywhere, no respect these days.

    • Yer just be careful pal, and I know yer it’s a shame because it’s ruined something what’s been there so long

  45. Hey Steve, have you had any luck finding the mines on Winter Hill? Been doing a little reading about them, quite a few up there. Let me know.

  46. Hi there we found a nice little belly pit mine up there, you have to absailing down though, you need decending and acending gear to get in and out of it as its a 16m climb or fall should I say, my friend got stuck down there for 5 hours because we didn’t have accending gear, there plenty up there but you need to know we’re to go and who to talk to. I spoke to David lane about them he knows his stuff about that place. I’ve gathered you have read David lanes winter hill scrap book?

  47. No. What info have u on winter hill

  48. That’s interesting, me and a few friends were thinking of going there as we are interested. Is there anyway to get a hold of these maps for crank caverns?

  49. Is it possible to get the maps some how? whether its by email or if I could contact someone? I think I posted a comment but I’m not sure if it actually did post..

    • Hi there Dan there are no maps, I’ve heard many of people say there’s maps and there going to upload them and they never do because they simply don’t have them, people have promised so many things on here and tell tale a lot of nonsense, it’s actually quite funny listening to them tbh, it is a very nice place but don’t expect underground lakes and little dwarfs chasing you haha have fun and be careful up there

      • I once worked wiv the lad that says on this site hes got the maps but he lives in a dream world and is a bit ov a dick . But ther is a big network ov tunels iv seen them and no maps

  50. Tunnels are still there but can’t be reached anymore trust me I’ve tried many of times they have been gone years, only place you can go are main caves and gated entrance which goes round in a circle.

    Steve

  51. There is a tunnel entrance from one of the main caves but at a glance you would miss it. Near the entrance on the wall is white. When you look closer the white is an image of a boy. Hope this helps you

  52. As quoted before there are no tunnels still open we have took a team of potholers down there to check it out so I’m not sure on who is telling you this info because the holes are now fully gone, you can’t get anywere, after digging, searching for over 2 years I can defo say the place is no longer accessible.

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